Max's Mighty Mob Supports Cincinnati Children's
Two and a half years ago, Max Meyer’s parents, Kristi and Matt, became concerned about some dark bruises and a rash on Max’s skin that just wouldn’t go away. They took him to his pediatrician and it quickly became clear that they had a reason to worry. The doctor told the family to pack a bag and head straight to Cincinnati Children’s.
Max was diagnosed with aplastic anemia, a life-threatening condition also known as bone marrow failure. Lab results showed Max’s platelet count was critically low – just 6,000 compared with an average of 120,000 in healthy children. His blood wasn’t making enough cells to replenish itself.
“When it came back that he didn’t have leukemia, we were so thankful,” Kristi says. But Max’s diagnosis was just as scary, though less well-known.
Working together with their care team at the Cancer and Blood Diseases Institute at Cincinnati Children’s, the family determined the best course of treatment would be bone marrow transplantation. Max’s family was tested and learned his sister, Ellee, who was 17 months old at the time, was a perfect match.
"We were relieved to learn Cincinnati Children’s has one of the leading bone marrow transplantation programs in the nation,” says Kristi. As one of the largest programs in the US, the multidisciplinary team at Cincinnati Children’s has performed more than 1,300 bone marrow transplants in the program’s more than 20-year history.
Today, Max is thriving thanks to his sister’s bone marrow and the expert care he received at Cincinnati Children’s. Now the Meyer family has a new goal: to help others like Max.
“While Max is doing well now, there may be a child who is like Max, and just beginning his or her journey today,” Kristi says. “We want to make a difference for that child, and all the other children who will come after him or her.”
Each year, the Meyer family gathers their friends and family to form Max’s Mighty Mob. The team participates in Cincinnati Walks for Kids, the annual fundraising walk for Cincinnati Children’s.
Cincinnati Walks for Kids is a day of family-friendly fun, including a non-competitive walk, face painting, mini-pumpkin decorating and five classic Coney Island rides. There is no fee to participate – instead walkers raise money to benefit the medical center and can designate what they raise to the program or division of their choice.
Max’s Mighty Mob donates what they raise to support bone marrow failure research. In two years, the team has raised more than $15,000 for Cincinnati Children’s.
“We have a lot of friends and family who have helped us through Max’s illness,” Matt says. “And now they come out and support us at the walk each year."
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